Review of Be Fearless

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  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


Jean Case made her professional mark as a senior executive with AOL during its heyday. The first woman to chair the National Geographic Society, she now devotes her money and time to philanthropic causes. Her charitable outreach puts her in contact with people who bring about positive change worldwide. Case details five common traits these activists and innovators share. They each make a “big bet,” take calculated risks, learn from failure, engage with a diverse set of people, and stay courageous and calm in crises. Case offers stories of heroism that will inspire anyone involved in philanthropy.

About the Author

An early senior executive at America Online, Jean Case is the first female board chairman at the National Geographic Society and is CEO of the philanthropic Case Foundation.


Game-changing leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs have a passion for meaningful challenges that gives them a feeling of fearlessness. 

Case understands that reading about people who accomplish great things might make you think they possess a secret strength you lack. More likely, she says, the difference is their burning passion to improve the lives of others and their ability to persevere against obstacles and failures until they attain their goals. 

Case, who grew up in a small town in Illinois, recounts that when her parents divorced, her mom moved her family to Pompano Beach, Florida in search of a better life. Case attended a Presbyterian school and spent summers with her grandparents in Illinois. When she was a teenager, her grandmother died, and she moved in with her grandfather. She speaks with admiration of how he taught her a strong work ethic and sense of self-discipline. In high school, Case worked as an intern for Judge E. Clay Shaw Jr. She volunteered for his congressional campaign. He was elected, and she worked for him while attending college. This led to her to becoming a political appointee in the Reagan administration. 

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